Thursday, November 05, 2009

Top 5: Worst Jobs

I have had a lot of crappy jobs in my time, so far! All in the name of working towards what I want at the time, whether it's traveling in the US to visit a mate, trying to live in the UK and see as much of Europe as I could, or just simply trying to pay the rent and get through uni.

My role in the UK at the start of my time over there is a definite entry for this list. For placements like this. The initials ME will never be the same for me!

Another crazy job in the attempt to keep myself housed and fed, and well traveled, whilst overseas, was in Nashville in 1999-2000. Here I worked as a Housekeeper at the Opryland Hotel. Cleaning hotel rooms, 16 in an 8 hour shift including the need to prepare your cart of supplies and towels folded just right, was such hard physical work! Changing two king size beds, and completing all the tiny presentation details for each room....and learning the corners you can cut. My advice is to never bath in a hotel bathroom! This job included things like cleaning up after cheerleaders, during the Cheerleader Convention. A delight, I can assure you! This job also opened my eyes to the unfair treatment of Latin American employees in the States.....

I worked as a Disability Support Worker for an agency, just as my studies were getting interesting, to pay the rent but also to get some invaluable experience in my newly discovered field. My very first shift was when I was just 19...and I had to shower a lad the same age. Confronting doesn't begin to explain! From there I went to a range of other full-on jobs, including showering old men, ewww. One sleep-over shift I remember as a highlight of the level of horror of this particular role was in a community residential unit for young adults with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities. I was to stay the night, and just be there in case. As the final shift finished, my handover included being made aware of the alarm on the kitchen, to let me know if anyone was creeping in there to the drawer with all the knives. That's actually what this other staff member told me, before she left the house. Such transferable skill development!

I also worked as a Locum in a dementia unit. My role was case management for people in their own homes, but my office was within the secure unit. Which meant the nursing home smell, and food sightings, and interaction with the residents. The reason this one rates on this list is mainly for encounters with one such resident, who would occasionally wander into my office and just silently hover. Gave me the creeps when I realised she was there, and wondered how long she had been there. And then she would ask me if I was her daughter. Awful.

Can't actually decide if serving drunks in the bar at the MCG is the 5th, or whether my very first job as a Checkout Chick at Safeway Ballarat, beats it. Before OH&S practices were taught, scanning and handling people's groceries was done so badly! But it was mainly the customer's behaviour that makes this job stand out. Which is very much parallel to refusing hammered footy fans another beer!

My very first real job out of uni is still my favourite, and still my most rewarding to date!


  1. Ha Ha! Remember when you lost one of the old men from the dementia clinic and spent a whole day driving around looking for him?!! Didn't you find him on the freeway!! hahahah

  2. Oh, nightmare arks! Another reason that dementia job rates!

    I watched Kenny for the first time last night, and there is the Opryland Hotel, right there!


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